Bristol has theatres and venues dotted across the city, and many restaurants offer special pre-theatre dinner deals and early bird menus when you show your theatre ticket or eat before 7pm. 

Here are some of our suggestions for where to grab a bite before a show...

Going to Bristol Hippodrome?

If you're going to see a musical or West End hit, you've got plenty of choice close to The Bristol Hippodrome, from casual bites to fine dining.

Seating in Bristol Hippodrome
Image - Bristol Hippodrome


Drop in to Bambalan any time before or after the show (up until 10pm) and claim 20% off your food bill when you show a valid ticket to any event on that day at any of Bristol’s theatres or music venues. There’s no need to book ahead - simply drop in and enjoy dishes from their menu of pizza, menu and salads, all inspired by the Mediterranean.

Colourful interior of restaurant
Image Bambalan 

The River Grille

This glass-fronted restaurant overlooks Narrow Quay and is just a few minutes walk from the Hippodrome. Enjoy a main course with a beer, glass of house wine or soft drink for £25 on weekdays from 5:30pm-6:30pm - which gives you plenty of time to take your seat for the show!

Glass fronted restaurant at night
Image - River Grille

Talwar Express 

Just a couple of doors down from the Bristol Hippodrome, tuck into some delicious Indian street food, including chaat, dosa and sharing dishes, as well as a range of curries if you're looking for something more filling.

Breads and sides
Image - Talwar Express

Everard's Bar & Restaurant

If you want to combine your theatre trip an overnight stay, The Clayton Hotel in the Old City offers a theatre & dinner hotel package which includes a two-course dinner at their restaurant, Everard's, inclding one drink per person and full breakfast to finish your stay. 

Front entrance of Clayton Hotel Bristol
Image - Clayton Hotel Bristol

Four Wise Monkeys

Just across the road from Bristol Hippodrome on Clare Street, you can fuel up at this Asian-inspired diner before or after the show. If you show a valid ticket for that day, they'll give you 20% off your food bill. We recommend the dan-dan noodles and the sandos, whether you go for pork or tofu!

Pork sando
Image - Four Wise Monkeys

The Ox

Enjoy a classy dinner before the show at this city centre favourite. Their early bird dinner is a long time favourite for locals: a 6oz rump steak, chips and sauce or butter, plus a glass of wine or soft drink for just £19. Available Monday to Thursday between 12-2pm and 5-7pm, and Friday-Saturday between 12-7pm.

Steak, sauce and chips
Image - The Ox

Other nearby places great for a pre-show dinner near to The Bristol Hippodrome include Pieminister, The Strawberry Thief, Miller & Carter Steakhouse and Colonnade at Bristol Beacon.

Going to Bristol Old Vic?

Bristol's oldest theatre (and one of the longest-running in the world), Bristol Old Vic is located on the bustling King Street, home to some of the city's best pubs and within easy reach of some great restaurants.

Outside of Bristol Old Vic Theatre
Image - Bristol Old Vic, credit: Jon Craig 

Kitchen + Bar at Bristol Old Vic

There are plenty of reasons to dine at the theatre itself before watching a show. The kitchen serves up tasty pies from local stars Pieminister - choose from classic beef, chicken or veggie, plus a selection of tasty sides. Looking for a lighter bite? They also have a delicious selection of cakes and snacks.

Interior of cafe bar
Image - Kitchen + Bar at Bristol Old Vic

The Granary

Just around the corner from Bristol Old Vic, The Granary is housed in a grand old building, which showcases some of the best Bristol Byzantine architecture in the city. Take advantage of their Taste of The Granary Menu (£45), which is designed for two to share and features six dishes of assorted small plates, plus a dessert and optional paired wine flight (£20 each).

Selection of small plates: prawns, salad and dips at The Granary - credit adollopofmarketing
Image - The Granary

Aqua, Welshback

Enjoy an early dinner at this bright and casual restaurant, where you can get two courses for £19 or three courses for £22 from 12pm to 7pm, Monday to Friday. The restaurant also has plenty of outdoor seating if you want to eat your dinner alfresco.

Person handling burger
Image - Aqua

The Cow & Sow

Head to this Queen Square chophouse for an early dinner before heading off to the Bristol Old Vic. Their early dining offer gets you two courses for £17, or three courses for £20 on weekdays from 12pm to 6pm.

Restaurant interior with blue banquets and small tables
Image - The Cow & Sow

Other nearby places on King Street and Queen Square include Pastan and Three Brothers Burgers, or you can check out the latest food pop-up at King Street Brew House.

Just a few minutes' walk from Bristol old Vic, you can enjoy harbourside views while you eat at Mud Dock, Riverstation and Harbour House.

Vegetable dish with sauce and salad
Image - The Granary

Going to Tobacco Factory Theatres?

If you're seeing a show at Tobacco Factory Theatres in Southville, you're spoiled for choice on the doorstep along North Street, with countless independent restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from.

If you're coming to the theatre from the city centre, you could get dinner in Wapping Wharf on the way - home to many popular restaurants, including Gambas Tapas Bar and Seven Lucky Gods for sushi.

Audience in theatre at Tobacco Factory Theatres
Image - Tobacco Factory Theatres

The Tobacco Factory Cafe Bar

On the ground floor of the building you'll find the Tobacco Factory's large cafe and bar, which also has a huge terrace if you're looking for an outdoor place to eat or drink. The menu is entirely vegetarian, with roasts served until 8pm on Sunday.

People sat inside at Tobacco Factory Cafe
Image - Tobacco Factory Cafe


Pop into this award-winning restaurant further along North Street to enjoy some exciting small plates before you head to the theatre. Their menu du jour is available from 12 - 3:30pm, Tuesday to Friday if you want to dine a little earlier.

Creedy carver duck breast and celeriac dauphinoise
Image - COR

It's also worth checking the latest pop-up at Studio BBF across the road from the theatre, or nearby Kitchen by KASK has an ever-changing line-up throughout the month too.

Going to Redgrave Theatre?

The Redgrave Theatre is on the doorstep of Clifton Village, which has plenty of choice when it comes to restaurants and bars, from Michelin-rated gastropubs to cosy corner bistros.

Inside of theatre with empty seating
Image - Redgrave Theatre

No.4 Clifton Village

Start your evening at this charming Clifton restaurant, housed in a grand Georgian building with its own tranquil gardens. Take advantage of their steak night offer, where you can get two sirloin steaks and a bottle of Malbec for £45, from 6pm - close Tuesday to Thursday, and from 6 - 8pm on Fridays.

Steak and chips
Image - No.4 Clifton Village

The Ivy Clifton Brasserie

This large and impressive former bank building has a great value all-day set menu from Monday to Friday, where you can enjoy two courses for £19.17.

Glamorous restaurant interior
Image - The Ivy Clifton Brasserie

Côte Brasserie

The popular chain offers a prix fixe menu of two courses for 16.95 or three courses for 20.95 from Monday to Friday from 12-7PM, excluding bank holidays.

Other nearby places within a short walk of the theatre are Bar 44, Coppa Club, The Clifton Sausage and KIBOU.

Couple sat at bar in restaurant
Image - Kibou

Going to The Wardrobe Theatre?

Fringe studio venue The Wardrobe Theatre is a hub of theatre, comedy, storytelling, cabaret, drag, improvisation and family shows. It's based on Old Market which has a great choice of independent restaurants and cafes, including a vegan Caribbean restaurant, a Cali-Mexican kitchen and several pubs.

Audience watching theatre show
Image - The Wardrobe Theatre

The Old Market Assembly

There's no need to leave the building - The Wardrobe Theatre is located at the back of the grand Old Market Assembly building, so you can wine and dine just a few steps from where you'll be enjoying the show later. During the week you can choose from a menu of pizzas or small plates, or they serve their roast dinner until 6pm on Sundays. You'll want to stick around after the show too - the bar hosts regular live music, cabaret and LGBTQ+ nights.

Audience watching live show
Image - The Old Market Assembly

Chophouse Restaurant and Bar

Just down the road from Old Market, Chophouse Restaurant and Bar is based at Future Inns on Bond Street. Choose a starter, main and dessert from their Table d’Hôte menu for £25 (available 6 - 9:30pm daily), with several vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available. 

Cabot Circus is only a short walk from Old Market, with many well-known chains and family favourites such as The Real Greek, which offers great value dining throughout the week.

Platter of Greek snacks
Image - The Real Greek

Going to Bristol Improv Theatre?

The UK’s first full-time dedicated improv theatre, Bristol Improv Theatre is on St. Pauls Road in Clifton, close to the bars and restaurants of Clifton Triangle and Whiteladies Road.

People stood on stage
Image - Bristol Improv Theatre


With special offers on most evenings (Burger Mondays, Penny Pizza Tuesdays, Steak Thursdays, three for £19 small plates), Racks is a great destination for a pre-theatre pitstop. They're just across the road from Bristol Improv Theatre too, so you won't have to wander far for your dinner!

Selection of small plates
Image - Racks


Three people can dine for the price of two at this global buffet restaurant on Clifton Triangle. The offer is available from 5 - 6pm, Monday to Thursday.

Food being cooked with flames
Image - Cosmo

Channings Hotel

This buzzing pub also has a large front garden that you can relax in before heading to the theatre. Their menu has hearty pub classics such as fish and chips or beef and ale pie.

Large empty pub garden surrounded by trees
Image - Channings Hotel

Bristol Lido Restaurant

Housed in the viewing gallery of a Victorian lido overlooking the pool, this restaurant is a serene place to dine before heading to a show. Make your day extra special with one of their swim and dine packages, where you can use the pool and spa facilities (outdoor hot tub, sauna and steam room) followed by food in the poolside restaurant.

Outdoor swimming pool and glass-fronted restaurant
Image - The Lido